Here at La Dolce Vita we have a Saturday routine and cookfest that takes up much of the day. Every Saturday, unless we are out of town, we have a ritual that we both eagerly anticipate so much you wouldn't know we are retired and can do whatever we want to on any given day.
Close to 10:00 am, we load our bags into the car and head for Starbucks to grab a coffee, then to the Farmer's Market, rain or shine. Living in places of agricultural abundance (first Visalia, then Santa Rosa) has taught us that we can always find fresh seasonal produce at the Farmer's Market. En route, we start our NPR-a-thon with Car Talk.
After we've trolled the F.M. and come away with fresh eggs, tomatoes, corn, berries, garlic, cucumbers, nectarines, grapes, onions, pork and green beans (this week) we drive through the historic district of town and on to other errands unless the weather is too hot. Whilst doing all this we are listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" also on NPR and usually answering the questions correctly because it is a current events/news quiz and we are paying attention to same.
Finally, we go to Oliver's an independent market and competitor to Whole Foods, but locally owned. There we pick up whatever we didn't get at the F.M. and head for home listening to "This American Life," also on NPR. While I put the groceries away I continue to listen to TAL, my favorite program on radio or TV of all time and then its time for lunch and a nap.
This particular Saturday, we bought 15 pounds of pickling cucumbers and 2 boxes of pint jars for same. Why pickle, when so many companies make delicious dill pickles? White vinegar. Made from corn, a no-no in Greyhair's diet these days. Plus, no telling how many other additives that are not advisable to eat So, pickle we did. His Greyness has been checking out recipes online and comparing them to his Dad's recipe that we fondly call "Bill's Dills." Since we've opted to water bath process the pickles, we needed some tips and we found them online in droves. First, we got the cucumbers soaking in an ice bath for 2 hours to increase crispness. Perfect--nap time. When we got up, I skinned 6 heads of garlic (so fresh it would hardly peel) and then helped with the slicing. In one hour start to finish we had 24 jars of dill pickles. Last time we made these, our boys Scott and Daniel called them "Cu-ples" and we had to hide them in order to get some for ourselves.
Then we did our dinner prep so we could relax outside for a couple of hours. Green salad with homegrown Romaine lettuce, Caprese salad, Calamari steak and rice noodles with homemade pesto.
Good dinner and good times with my best friend......